Saturday, December 14, 2013

If I Only Had a Brain….Or A Memory

One of the problems of getting old is you forget things.  One of the problems of getting old and being sick is you forget even more things!  There was something I specifically wanted to tell you about yesterday, but completely forgot.

One blog I have been reading religiously for years is Tommy The Material Girl.   I love her sense of humour, she is a Cordon Bleu chef and she loves animals as much as I do.  The other day, she blogged about a company called Blog2Print.  To borrow Tommy’s words, “It is a simple process of going on line and filling in a little bit of info, like the first day of the year and the last day of the year and your blog address and pick out your cover graphics and voila! You have your blog in a book form.”  I think this is a wonderful idea for people who blog a lot more regularly than I do.  It would be like having a diary of your year.  Check it out!

I also forgot to show you a couple of baby quilts I made – they are both the same as they are both for little boys and I reverted to my old standby strippy quilt.


I also completed this Santa tablerunner.  I like the idea of this, but I’m not sure if my sense of symmetry can handle it!  It’s right up there with my matchy matchy gene!


We’re getting dumped on pretty heavily today, so we had to cancel lunch with ‘my girls’.  I am very disappointed and hope we can reschedule before Christmas as a couple of things I have for them are Christmas related.  I didn’t even think it snowed when it was this cold but obviously I was wrong.  My sister in law and a girlfriend are both coming back today from a week in Florida – I don’t think they will be very impressed!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Baby It’s Cold Outside….

No, actually it’s FREEZING outside and it isn’t even winter yet!  The weather in the whole continent seems to have gone wacky and I ask myself every day why we live in a country with such extremes in temperature.  We’re either way too hot or way too cold.  I’d be happy with just Spring and Fall – that would be just about perfect!

I seem to have been busy, but I’m not sure I have a lot to show for it.  I did get back on Tillie and quilted quite a few Cuddle Quilts for our Guild.  It felt good to be back on the longarm, but I have to be careful not to overdo as I had a fair bit of pain in my lung after quilting for a couple of days straight.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – why do people put their ugliest fabric into charity quilts?  I know not everyone does this, but I’ve seen some pretty ugly quilts pass through my hands.  I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


This looks like it was an orphan block top and while it doesn’t look too bad in this picture, trust me, in person it was UGLY!  I like to think my quilting gave it some beauty Smile







I’m sure some of these panels came straight from the 60’s. 

I finally got my knitting finished but I never did find Bruno, my model, so I guess he was bagged up with the rest of my bears and is now living in the crawl space.  I really should bring him back upstairs, but going into the crawl space is something you have to work up to so it will have to wait for another day.

This is Groovy and I did it in 100% cotton.  My friend Diane kindly blocked this for me – it isn’t my favourite part and when I finished it, I still wasn’t feeling that great so it was wonderful to have it done for me.




This is another Hitchhiker done in fingering weight wool.

I now have more scarves than I know what to do with!

I did quilt some placemats for our local Meals on Wheels – they were Christmas on one side and regular fabric on the other, but I forgot to get a picture Sad smile

My Christmas shopping is pretty much complete – thanks to the Internet.  I love online shopping – and it’s such a nice surprise when the packages arrive at your door.  There were some great sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday and Canadian retailers finally got in on the act and had some great sales to try and discourage cross border shopping.  They still have a way to go to price match, but at least they are trying.

This is the only tree that is going up in our house this year.


The thought of putting up a tree and all my decorations was just too overwhelming this year – maybe next year I’ll be feeling more like it, but I wouldn’t bet money on it.  I am getting stronger but still tire very quickly and still get awful flashbacks to my hospital stay.  I’m impatient, I know, and should be grateful for how far I’ve come, but I still feel I have a long way to go.

I’m hoping to have lunch tomorrow with my adopted granddaughters – I haven’t seen them for way too long, so I hope the snow that is falling right now stops as they live in the Niagara region and the weather there can be very bad at this time of year with lake effect snow from both Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. 

I’m working on a Santa tablerunner, so I better get my act together and get it finished or Christmas will be over before it’s done!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


I’ve been trying to make some progress with my Hunter’s Star, but it slow going as my attention span isn’t the greatest.


I was hoping to make this queen size so I’ll need 20 full blocks and 5 half blocks, but I don’t think I’m going to have enough fabric, so I may have to re-think the size – either that or put on bigger borders but I’m not a big fan of doing that as I always think it looks too obvious.  Speaking of borders, my original idea was to put a small 1 1/2” finished inner border and a 5 1/2” finished outer border, but I have no idea what fabric I am going to use.  Nothing like winging it – most people would have this all figured out before they started cutting, but I like to live dangerously.

I’ve also been trying to finish a Hitchhiker scarf so I can start on this!


I saw this on Pinterest but the link provided didn’t take me to the pattern.  Thanks to another kindly Pinterest user, she told me where it came from and I ordered the book and the yarn.  I’m anxious to start it, but promised myself I’d finish the scarf first.  This vest is from a book called Seamless or Nearly Seamless Knits and there are some other very nice patterns in the book.  Since sewing things together is my least favourite part of knitting, this fits the bill perfectly!

I promised you pictures of some of my other knitting projects, but for the life of me I can’t find my model Bruno!  Before I got sick, I cleaned out our spare bedroom and packed away most of my very many bears but I was sure I left Bruno out as he made a great model and he was very special to me.  I have no idea where he has disappeared to so now I’ll have to go searching.


Here he is modeling a Ruffle Scarf I made a year or so ago.  How could I misplace something this big?  Maybe I did pack him away – who knows – I have no memory anymore, not that it was so great to begin with!

It’s very deceiving looking out the window this morning – the sun is shining and it looks like a gorgeous fall day, but the temperature is hovering around the freezing mark.  I really hope we aren’t in for a long, cold winter as I already missed spring and summer this year! 

I’ve been looking at all the pictures on Facebook from Quilt Market and it makes me wish I was going to Houston.  I’m sure all the stores will be e-mailing all kinds of new goodies to tempt us just as soon as they get home.  Of course, I’m not buying anything – not a single thing – until I use up some of what I already have.  Does that sound familiar? 


Thursday, October 17, 2013

It’s Been a Long Time

For those that don’t know, I’ve been sick, really sick.  While I don’t want to go into all the morbid details, here’s the condensed version of what happened.  I went to Emergency on February 25th with really bad asthma symptoms.  While waiting in Emergency for a room, I developed the Tamiflu, then got double pneumonia and was on a ventilator for 9 days in ICU.  Following that, my lung collapsed 3 times so I had to have a chest tube inserted and back to ICU I went.  I was allergic to the Heparin they give you to prevent blood clots and hemorrhaged and eventually ended up with a blood clot in my lung.  Since I had been off my feet for so long, I could no longer stand or walk and had to learn to do that all over again.  After 87 days in hospital, I was finally released. 

When I came home that’s when everything hit me.  I could barely walk, I needed help going up and down the stairs, my breathing was very laboured and I generally felt awful.  I guess you can’t spend that long in hospital without going into a deep depression and that’s what happened.  I’m still struggling and trying to claw my way back to some kind of normalcy.  They say if you go through the motions, then eventually the pleasure will return – I’m still waiting.

I’ve missed my blog as it serves as a record of what I’ve been doing on the quilting and knitting front, so I’ve decided to try and start over and record what I have been able to accomplish.

In late July, I decided to start on something small and made some quilted cards, embellished with Swarovski crystals. 


The exposure on this picture is terrible, but you get the idea.  Since I still wasn’t ready to tackle anything on a larger scale, I decided to make Christmas cards.


While these are really easy, they are very time consuming.

I was doing the Border Creek Station Mystery Quilt before I got sick and luckily was all caught up on the clues.  I managed to get the top finished just in time for the reveal at the end of September.



My Aunt has been amazing during my recovery and came over every day at 9 a.m. to help me make it through the day.  She encouraged me, walked with me, comforted me, helped make meals and I know without her I wouldn’t have made the progress I have.  She is truly an amazing generous person and I love her with all my heart.  She brought her knitting over with her and always had it in a paper carrier bag, so I made this for her to carry her knitting.



Two of my daughter Sandra’s favourite things are shoes and Halloween, so this seemed an appropriate table runner for her.  Darren & her are having a big Halloween party this year, so I thought this would look good on their table.


I’ve had a Hunter’s Star on my to-do list for many, many years.  I bought the fabric for it at least 6 years ago and I bought Deb Tucker’s Rapid Fire Hunter’s Star Ruler at MQX in 2009!!!  I thought it was time I got started, so this is my progress so far.



As you can see, it’s not all stitched together yet, it’s just placed on the design wall.

I’ve been doing a little knitting too, but I’ll leave that for another day or I’ll have nothing left to show you.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Modern Quilts

Eric, the Online Media Coordinator at Fons & Porter asked if I would review another ebook entitled Modern Quilts.  According to this booklet, Modern Quilts are notable for their minimalist aesthetic, use of bright, bold colour with large doses of white and other neutral solids, asymmetrical designs and free-form piecing.  Who knew?

I think whether you like a quilt or not is based solely on personal preference.  There are some quilts that I can appreciate for all the work and design that has gone into them, but they are just not my cup of tea.  I also think your tastes change over the years.  When I first started quilting, I didn’t like Civil War or reproduction fabrics.  Now, I’m drawn to many of those quilts and would love to make one. 

Having said that, let’s get back to the ebook.  I love the first pattern in the booklet entitled Baubles & Beads.  It’s basically a square in a square with a strip joining the squares as an added design element.  I could definitely see myself making this quilt.


As for the other two quilts, they are just not my cup of tea.  Rainbow Rhythm is all half square triangles, but I just don’t like the setting and I particularly don’t like the black rectangles in it.  I know these could easily be changed, but I’m reviewing the book as written.



The last quilt is called Lemon Squeezy and it reminds me very much of the Jelly Roll Race quilts that are making the rounds.  I do like that this one is done diagonally, but, like the Jelly Roll Race quilts, I just don’t see the point.  Everyone and their dog has made one of the Jelly Roll quilts and I’ve yet to see one that I like.  I guess it could be said that they are quick and easy but I’m at a loss for anything else good to say about them.


For some reason, the picture on this won’t copy properly but if you go to this link, you can get a copy of the ebook complete with instructions for all three quilts.  The instructions are well written, easy to understand and well illustrated.  Hope one of these is your cup of tea!

I’ve been working on a square in a square quilt myself.  The blocks were completed back in November and I finally got them assembled this week.  I also pieced the backing which is one of my least favourite jobs, so it’s ready to be quilted.  This top was made with two packages of Bali Pops and I ended up with a top 66” x 84”.  I don’t think I’ll be buying any more Bali Pops – some of the strips were really wonky and I’ve heard friends comment on this too. 


Monday is Family Day in some parts of Canada and I’m celebrating by going to see Bon Jovi.  It’ll take a week for me to get the smile off my face Smile


Friday, February 15, 2013


There hasn’t been much quilting done around here this week.  My Aunt was discharged from hospital on Wednesday so now that she’s home, I’d like to get back into some kind of routine again.  I did get my Mystery Quilt clues caught up to date – just in time for the new one that was issued today.  No wonder I sometimes feel like a hamster on a wheel!

I’ve been sitting on my hands a lot lately too – trying to stop myself from taking advantage of some of the great sales that have been making their way into my Inbox.  When I’m being good, I just delete them before I even look at them, but sometimes I’m not so good and I actually read them – bad mistake!  So far I’ve resisted buying any more fabric but I’m not sure how much longer I can be good.  There are a couple of e-mails just taunting me every time I look at my in-box and I haven’t had the willpower to delete them…..yet.

Since I don’t have anything to show you, I’ll share this with you.  Colgate have created an ingenious advertising campaign to promote their dental floss, but before I explain the main detail of these images, I will let you look at them quietly:



Alright, now that you’ve had time to look at the ads:  in the first one you’ll notice that she has one finger too many; the second one has a phantom floating arm; and the third one, the man has only one ear.  The campaign proved that food remains on your teeth draw more attention than any physical defect!

I didn’t notice any of the deformities so don’t feel too bad if you didn’t either.



Thursday, February 7, 2013

Half Square Triangle Overload

My Aunt is still in the hospital, so there hasn’t been as much sewing done as I would have liked.  She had a kidney infection and they seem to have things under control now and her white cell count is improving every day, so I really hope she gets to come home soon.

I’ve been working on my Border Creek Station Mystery quilt.  I hadn’t started it, so I was four months behind with the clues.  I’m almost caught up after making 340 half square triangles, but they really are a breeze with Triangulations.  Some of them went into 13 of these:


more went into 48 of these:


and yet more went into 52 of these:


There are still 88 more that will be worked into the mystery somewhere.  The instructions for these mystery quilts are so well written and at the end of each installment, she gives you an inventory list of what and how many you should have in different baggies.  It keeps you really well organized.


Spring Bouquet

When this quilt first came out, I sent a link to Lee and she asked if I was going to do it.  I believe my response was something along the lines of “not in this lifetime”!  Well, a couple of weeks ago we were in our favourite quilt store in Buffalo, Pinegrove Quilt Shop and we saw one of the blocks completed.  They were running it as a block of the month.  It was STUNNING!  Unfortunately, they were sold out of the BOMs and didn’t know if they would be able to get any more or not, but said they would look into it and give me a call.  I think we always want what we can’t have and I searched the web high and low trying to find somewhere that still had this available – I didn’t have any luck.  Then, on Tuesday, I got a call from Sue at Pinegrove telling me she was able to get two kits for Lee and I!!!!!  I’ve watched Edyta Sitar’s You Tube videos and I can hardly wait to get this in my hot little hands. 

Sandra and I are supposed to be going to Buffalo this weekend and I plan to pick them up.  If Leo sees the credit card bill and falls off his chair, I can tell him to relax – it’s only half as bad as he thinks Smile

Thursday, January 31, 2013

This Too Shall Pass

Technology is a wonderful thing.  I’m writing this post from an isolation room at our local hospital as I sit with my Aunt.  She has been sick for a week and unfortunately isn’t getting any better.  Our wonderful family doctor came to see her at home on Tuesday and administered some shots to help with the nausea and diarrhea, but they didn’t do the trick, so yesterday he asked me to call for an ambulance to take her to Emergency.  First of all, how many doctors do you know that still make house calls?  He is one in a million and I don’t know what we are going to do when he retires.  I made him a quilt a few years ago and almost every time I see him, he tells me how much he treasures it.  I just hope he knows how much we treasure him.

My Aunt is such a trooper.  She has had a lot of illness in her life and somehow always manages to stay cheerful.  She is like a mother to me and I love her to bits.  I just hope they can help her to feel better.  It isn’t the flu, but some intestinal virus – they aren’t sure exactly what, which is why she is in isolation.  So, I’m sitting typing this with latex gloves on and a very unbecoming yellow gown.  It’s a bit of a joke, really, as some nurses ‘suit up’ and some don’t and they are flitting to and fro from patient to patient.

I finished my Starry Eyed Quilt and got the binding sewn on.  This was a pattern from the Moda Bakeshop website and I’d like to do another one some day.


I believe the fabric line I used for this was called Ruby and it just takes one layer cake and two charm packs.


One of these pictures was taken with a flash and the other without.  Maybe one day I’ll learn to use my camera properly – it has a dozen settings and all I ever use is ‘auto’. 

Speaking of good pictures, my son Ian took this picture of my baby.  I absolutely love it!


His little world is upside down right now as I’ve been out so much.  I took him over to my Aunt’s earlier this morning while I changed her bed, etc. and he searched the house for her.  I hope she will be home soon – we all miss her!


Saturday, January 26, 2013

I Feel Good

As James Brown would say! I’ve been busy quilting tops this week – tops that have been completed for quite a few months years and have been patiently waiting to become a quilt.  This one is called Birthday Presents by Atkinson Designs and I believe it was in the book Take Two and Add a Few.  It’s been so long ago since I bought it, that I can’t remember.


I quilted this with the Swirls design from Circle Lord.  This has a batik back on it and I was a bit concerned that it might give me problems but I shouldn’t have worried.  Tillie handled it with ease and the tension was perfect.  I used a variegated King Tut on the the top and a Super Bob in the bobbin.


I just took my Starry Eyed quilt off the frame this afternoon, so once I get it bound, I’ll post some pictures.  What I should say, is after my hands recover from hand sewing the binding on this quilt, I’ll start on the next!

I was looking at all the tops still to be quilted on my rack downstairs and there is one in particular that has been there forever.  I don’t like it anymore and I don’t want to quilt it either, so I think I will just donate it the way it is.  I loved the fabric – Paris Flea Market – in fact they have just brought that line back as it was so popular.  It was a swap done many, many years ago on the quilting forum.  I just read recently that you don’t have to finish everything you start.  There is no crime in giving it to someone who likes it or donating it as a charity quilt.  Therefore, I can get rid of it with a clear conscience – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

We must have been out of our minds when we did it, but Lee and I signed up for a class through our Guild that was held on Wednesday night.  Why on earth I thought it would be a good idea to haul everything out to a class at the end of January is beyond me.  Did I mention that it was FREEZING here all week and UNBEARABLY COLD at night?  Brave stupid souls that we are, we went and it was actually quite interesting.  Next month – oh yes, we didn’t just sign up for one month, we signed up for three – in the middle of winter – it must have been Lee’s idea – anyway, next month we are somehow going to be making a strip pieced star.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.

This quilt is going on Tillie next.

Ladybugs 001


I can’t remember if I put a border on this or not, but if I didn’t, I think I should, don’t you?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Winter is in the Building!

The glorious weather we had is now just a distant memory.  It’s freezing here today and it’s supposed to get colder as the week goes on – lovely!  A good excuse to stay home and sew.

On Saturday, our local quilt store hosted Sherri Hissey from Border Creek Station.  Sherri designs the Mystery Quilt that I have done for the past three years.  She was really entertaining and showed us some gorgeous quilts.  I did take some pictures, but the room was very small, so I didn’t get the proper perspective for good pictures.  I’ll share a few of my favourites.




This one was done as a leader/ender project and Sherri did it completely from her scraps.


This lets you see just how small the room was and why my vantage point wasn’t ideal.  Ron, Sherri’s husband, helps her with the business and does all her binding.  A handy man to have around!




I got my Poinsettias de Noel top finished.  I realized while doing this that I have a very short attention span.  I had only worked on this top for 3 weeks, but already I was sick of it.  I have a whole new admiration for quilters who spend months and years on certain projects.


If you look at the top left in the picture, you’ll see Molly.  I spent ages trying to get this laid out flat to get the picture, then as soon as I stepped away, she plunked herself down right in the middle of it!  You’d think there was catnip in quilt tops the way she is attracted to them.  Just shortly after this picture was taken, Ben had to come and lie on it too – so I guess it now has the seal of approval from both of my little quilt inspectors.

We have quite a few squirrels in our neighbourhood and one of them has no tail.  He is so cute – he almost looks like a bunny.  It doesn’t seem to bother him and he can still climb trees and walk along wires.  I don’t know if he lost it in an accident or he was born this way, but he has been without it for a couple of years.



Isn’t he cute!!  We also have a squirrel that comes right up to our patio door and puts his paws on the glass until we throw out peanuts.  We have the best fed (and fattest) squirrels in the neighbourhood!

Sunday, January 13, 2013


The calendar says it’s January, but the temperature thinks we’re in the southern hemisphere.  It was over 60 F here yesterday and today – not bad for Southern Ontario!!  In fact, a couple of crocuses were blooming in our front garden.  They are in for a big shock though as the temperatures are supposed to plummet at the beginning of the week.

I’ve been working away on my Poinsettias de Noel and this is what it looks like now.

Getting There 2

That big area in the middle is going to have a pot of poinsettias in it.  I cut them all out last night and will start to get them assembled hopefully tomorrow.  There will be red sashing between the blocks and a black floral border – at least there will be when I get it done!

I took a break from it today to get some charity quilts quilted.  I managed to get 3 of them done and the binding sewn on, all ready to be hand stitched on Tuesday at our Cuddle Quilt Day.  While I was in my longarm room, I took a look at all my tops waiting to be quilted.  I must do something about that.  If the backs would magically piece themselves they would get quilted a whole lot faster. 

Lee and I were talking about making a bucket list of quilts.  We all have quilts that we want to make, but somehow something else comes along and some quilts always get put on the back burner.  As I was looking through some of my pictures today, I came across this one.

Circle of Hope 2

It’s called Circle of Hope and I ‘think’ I got the pattern from Keepsake a couple of years ago.  It wouldn’t be difficult, so I need to JUST DO IT!!  Another quilt on my bucket list is a Hunter’s Star.

Hunter's Star

It’s not like I want to make a New York Beauty (although that would be nice too) so I need to get busy and start crossing things off my Quilting Bucket list – the list that I haven’t made yet Smile

The Golden Globes are on tonight and Jon Bon Jovi has been nominated in the Original Song category with “Not Running Anymore”.  He’s up against some tough competition with Adele in the category.  I like them both, so as long as one of them wins, I’ll be happy!

I’m afraid I’ve had to put a verification code on my comments as  I have been getting so much spam and it’s really annoying.  It makes you wonder – do they really get any business from all those spam comment links?